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Old 06-28-2005, 01:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First build, and lots of questions.


I'm preparing to order parts for my first build. This computer will be primarily for gaming (I do not do any graphic editing, I mostly play games and do schoolwork on this computer.)

I've got lots of questions, hoping someone can help me out with some of the answers

I've searched these forums and done some research, but I am very new to all this so please forgive me ignorance and if I missed anything with searches (I am a bit unfamiliar with what keywords I should use for some of my questions.)

To start off, here is what I currently have planned out for ordering - nothing is finalized and any suggestions are welcome of course.

One note: I do not plan to do any overclocking.

ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

On a few of the other threads I've read, it seems like DFI is favored. I was looking on newegg but kind of confused by the different motherboards there. If that's what I need, could someone point out specifically which one I should purchase?

Lian Li PC-61 USB Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

LITE-ON Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model SOHD-16P9SBLK - Retail

2x Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM

2x OCZ Peroformance 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model OCZ4001024PF - Retail

(A friend had recommended Corsair XMS but after some searches on this site it appeared OCZ was preferred and XMS wasn't looked on too fondly. I do not plan to do any overclocking, so if there is a cheaper / better option I'm all for it.)

Antec TRUE430 ATX 430W Power Supply - Retail

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Manchester 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Dual Core Processor Model ADA4600BVBOX - Retail

I have a few questions about the processor. I did a lot of reading up on these but to be honest I don't understand a lot of it.
The gist of what I got was that the X2 have two cores and are better for multi tasking and the FX series is one core and better if you just play games.
Well, I just play games but I play multiple instances of games at once. Do I want two cores or one? I also like to surf the internet, listen to music, have messengers et copen while playing, does that count as multi tasking? I was unsure if "multi tasking" was for high memory applications solely or not.

CREATIVE Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS 70SB035000000 8 (7.1) Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail

I like to listen to my music, but I'm not obsessive about it. I have a good pair of speakers already that I plan on using, the reviews on that said it got best performance out of an Audigy2 ZS, which I have not purchased yet. Is this a good card and will it improve quality of my sound?

eVGA 256-P2-N528-AX Geforce 7800GTX 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

Ok, now I have several more questions.

Will all of this work together?
Is the PSU sufficient for this setup? If not, can you recommend one that is or tell me about how many watts I need? (I realize watts are not everything for a PSU.)
Do I need a RAID controller or will this motherboard do a RAID 0 with those harddrives normally?
The reviews I read mentioned I would need a SATA cable. Is this what I need and will it work? (
Any suggestions or things I should do to optimize?
Do I need to buy any fans or anything, will this run cool enough with no overclocking?
With the drives what exactly do I need to do in regard of master/slave? I don't understand what that means or if I need to do anything, from what I read it sounded like that was for IDE but with SATA i wouldn't need to do anything?
I've put stuff in and taken stuff out of my cases before, but never completely built a computer from scratch. From what I've read, the assembly of the CPU and heatsink SCARES me. Any advice here?

Final note: All suggestions are welcome, and I am not really on a budget per se. I want something that's a very good computer I can use for gaming, will last me a decent amount of time (I know this is relative and hard to say with computers, but I don't want to buy another computer next year, for example.)
I spend almost all my time on my computers, so I'd rather get something good now - there is no specific number where I'd rather not spend anymore, but of course, cheaper is ALWAYS better.

Thank you all very much for all the great information on this site and for any recommendations you can offer.

Xebthazu is offline  
Old 06-28-2005, 01:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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OK firstly, I see that you never plan to do overclocking, but that motherboard is apparantly very buggy. The MSI Neo4 seems like a good one, if you don't want a DFI.

I have no problems with the 2gb's of ram, apart from they don't overclock well, but others might say not to get it. But BF2 uses more than 1gb of ram.

The raptors are fine on there own, but don't get as much of an increase as you might of though in RAID. Getting 2 normal HDD won't be alot slower. - Just saving a bit of money there, but doesn't look like a huge issue.

I wouldn't say what you are doing is worthy of the dual core processor, as I run music in the background when playing games, and I have no problems with my AMD 64 3000, HL2 can still run all high with 4x AA 8x AF and always maintain above 60fps. I think that you would do better with a FX** or AMD 64 3700/4000 san diego.

I would say no for the PSU. Yes its a great make, but I don't think it would be powerful enough for all that. ?? It has a rebate on it too.

You do not need a RAID controller, as the motherboard has one on it.

The SATA cables should come with the motherboard, they show 8 in the picture. That one you chose is a bit too long 20"??

On the back of the IDE device, there would be the option for master, slave or cable select. For SATA there isn't any jumpers to worry about.

For the CPU, lift the little leaver, there would be a corner with out a pin, match that to the corner with no slot for a pin, and gently press it in. If it doesn't go in, than it is in the wrong position. Close the leaver. For the heatsink, there would either be a thermal pad on it, in which case, put tyhe heatsink on top of the CPU, with the big leaver at the bottom, and lock it into place, it will take a couple of attempts to get it to hook on properly. If it is wobbly, take it off, and try again. You don't want it falling onto the GPU - which is a beaut. If you don't have a thermal pad, you need to apply thermal compound. Add a drop about the size of a grain of rice on to the top of the CPU, I put it on top of the core (marked by black dots) and put the heatsink on top, the weight of it will spread it out evenly to fill up the microscopic holes.

You don't need to build the CPU or heatsink, unless it is one for multi platforms, which is just chnaging around the levers.

The case has 2 fans, that would be enough for keeping the case at a acceptable temperature.


Cisco CCNA, Comptia A+, 1/3 through CCNP
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks very much for the quick reply, that was exactly what I needed!
Could you clarify a few things?

1) I did a search for MSI Neo4 on newegg and got several. Is this what you are suggesting?
And just so I'm sure, this mobo will also come with what I need to attach the HDD?

2) I'm all for cutting out a second HDD since that's the case, but just out of curiosity so I can learn more about this stuff, are there any benchmarks out there for the amount of increase it is? 1, 2, 5, 20 %? Just curious.

3) What is the difference on the FX55's between San Diego and Clawhammer?

Thanks again, I really appreciate your help!
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The MSI is a great board. Get the SLI version, since you want to stay current. Your ram is pretty good, and if you don't care about saving the money, get it.

The raptor will not give you great speed increases. Look here.
My advice is to get 2 SATAII drives running at 7,200 rpm and put them in raid 0.

San Deigo is the 90 MM core, while clawhammer is the 130 MM core. San Deigo is the better one. But X2 is still your best bet if you want futureproofing.
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah it comes with 2, and can have upto 6, but I just looked at the price tag, the DFI nForce 4 is cheaper:

For the raptors:

They say 20% but that isn't the real world, just like aquamark etc.
In real world, not worth it:

Than san diego has smaller archetecture, meaning less heat. It also has SSE3 instructions and a 1mb cache over the 512 of the clawhammer.

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Old 06-28-2005, 02:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks again guys, exactly what I was looking for. Definitely not worth it for two then - I am very glad you pointed that out, those sites were very informative for me.
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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yeah i am going to have to agree with all that was said here, you guyz did a great job helping him out.

The only thing that I have to say, is do you really really need that soundcard, if you keep that ASUS, even though it is buggy, it already has 5.1 built in. Just a simple way to save a few bucks, but it looks like you really have no limit anyway.

DFI is probably the board that you are going to way to go with, because it will allow you to expand upon it. With SLI tech (I think) someone might want to check and see if that is SLI compatible I am pretty sure that it is, never know for sure.

Definately take the advice on the PSU, you are going to need atleast 500W to run this system efficiently.

One more thing, you might not want to go check on the dvd-rom, I have heard around here and some other places that lite-on products arent necessarily the most reliable ones.

Looks like your on your way to making a pretty damn good system. Good Luck

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